Ding Dong, Merrily on High – a 16th Century French Carol arranged by Ann Cameron Pearce
Scored for 6 C flutes and hand bells. Part 2 has optional Piccolo, Part 5 h as optional Alto Flute, and Part 6 has optional Bass Flute.
Hand bells needed: G4, C5, D5, G5, E7, divided between 2 players
Many early Christmas carols had origins related to dancing, often merging celebratory lyrics with popular folk song melodies. This piece is an excellent example of this combination, and is credited to Thoinot Arbeau. He was a French cleric who published a treatise on dancing in 1588. The tune comes from Branle de l'official, a spirited dance during which men lifted women into the air. This arrangement features 6 C flutes and 5 hand bells, the latter of which are played by two ringers. If hand bells are not available, handchimes, piano, xylophone or vibraphone might be utilized. Also, the flute parts are enhanced by the additional of optional piccolo, alto flute and bass flutes as noted.